I’ve been waiting for this day for so long. I can’t believe it’s finally arrived. Ever since my chum Paul Boswell called me a couple of weeks ago to tell me what he was up to, I’ve been biting my tongue because he also told me everything was “ultra-priority top-secret” until he launched his Spintronics Kickstarter on 20 May 2021, which is TODAY as I pen these words.
As you may recall, Paul and his wife Alyssa were the little rascals behind the marble-based computer game called the Turing Tumble, which exploded (in a good way) onto the scene in 2017. I have one of these little beauties here in my office. I’ll let you play with it if you ever come to visit.
The Turing Tumble is terrific, but it pales in comparison to the Spintronics spectacle. What Paul has done is create mechanical analogs of common electrical and electronic components, including resistors, capacitors, inductors, transistors, and switches.
Instead of electrical current in the form of electrons flowing through wires, we have a mechanical analog of current in the form of chains “flowing” through our mechanical components.
Even the “battery” is mechanical (you pull a cord to wind it up). The battery pushes a chain with a constant force (voltage). It even boasts a mechanical circuit breaker that automatically shuts it off in the event of a short circuit. The example below shows a simple oscillator:
O-M-G! Is all I can say. If you visit the Spintronics Kickstarter, you can see animated images of all the components in action. I defy any engineer to tell me they wouldn’t like to see one of these little beauties performing its magic on their desk. What say you? Can you resist the siren song of spintronics? (Actually, that siren song may well be the spintronic ammeter, which lets you “hear the current;” that is, the more the current, the higher the pitch.) Speaking of “hearing the current,” I can’t wait to hear what you think about all of this!